The New England Patriots are currently leading the Buffalo Bills 24-17 at half-time in a game that has been closer than expected. However, the high-scoring total has not disappointed us with both teams trading blows offensively. The Patriots vaunted run defense has been nowhere to be seen, as the Bills have averaged nearly six yards on the ground for a total of 88 rushing yards.
Aside from a couple of solid runs, Stevan Ridley has had a poor day thus far with an average of 2.2 yards per carry.
However, the real story has been the linebackers, because they have been horrible in coverage. By “they”, I mean Dont’a Hightower and, to a much greater extent, Brandon Spikes. Scott Chandler has been looking like Antonio Gates out there with four catches for 57 yards, including a TD near the end of the half to put the Bills within a TD.
Spikes has even allowed some plays to be made to Donald Jones, as he has 40 receiving yards on just two catches. One of those plays was Spikes’s fault.
Rob Gronkowski was able to spike it into the end zone, and Danny Woodhead also sprung a 15-yard TD after a great block from guard Logan Mankins. But the story has been the poor Patriots defense which has been just as bad as the Bills usually horrific D. Even the Pats run D has suffered, with the rookie Hightower having a surprisingly poor start to the game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked terrific going 13-17 for 153 yards and 9.0 Y/A, or maybe that’s just because the Pats pass defense has been so bad in this game.
24-17. Something needs to change, but at least the Patriots hold the lead thanks to some heroics from a few players. By the way, look for Wes Welker to have a big half (three catches, 33 yards thus far).
Danny Woodhead is the half-time MVP- pretty obvious one too- with a 15-yard TD run on his only carry and a solid three catch, 28 yard line on just three targets. Now that’s efficiency.
Jerod Mayo already has nine tackles today. Over/under at 15?
Tom Brady is on pace for 240 passing yards, and he’ll need to throw for 180 in the next half to tie Dan Fouts (who is calling the game in a biased manner for CBS) for sixth on the all-time list with 51 games with at least 300+ passing yards.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.